Healthy Eating

A Better Barbecue

Eat well and minimize your impact on the planet at your next outdoor get-together.
A Better Barbecue
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Eating and entertaining outside is one of the sweet pleasures of summer. Of course, preparing food outdoors is often associated with a menu of grilled meats, charred to perfection. Our summer ritual keeps the grill, but replaces overcooked hot dogs with healthier choices. But don’t get too carried away when cooking over an open flame. The characteristic char of grilled foods contains acrylamide, a known carcinogen. To reduce the acrylamide formation in grilled foods, remove them from the grill before they get too charred and add high antioxidant herbs and spices to marinades, says Breea Johnson, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., an integrative nutritionist in Chicago. Good-for-you additions include rosemary, olive oil, garlic, lemon, lime or fresh-squeezed orange juice. Or, try spice rubs with cumin or cayenne pepper. Marinades and spice rubs that contain antioxidants will help reduce the harmful effects of the free radicals created when acrylamide is produced, says Johnson. No matter what you throw on the barbie, serve it with a nod to the environment by following our eco-friendly hosting guides.